on 14 January 2016
Lets put this into context - I am a huge fan of Sonos. But if I had the choice I wouldn't buy the Sonos Play 3 again. Reason why? Its audio quality is showing its age (5 years old now) and the latest updates to the Play 1 actually mean that it (The Play 1) now sounds much better and is £100 cheaper.
The Play 5 (especially the new model) is very good. Still (and obviously) the best in the range. But given that I have the Play 5 in the lounge and two Play 1's in the bedroom and kitchen respectively, I needed something in the family room so thought the obvious choice would be the Play 3. I have since tried to send it back but unless you buy directly from Sonos's site (i.e not from Amazon and or the marketplace) then the 100 day offer doesn't apply.
The Play 3 is good, it has depth but is definitely not immersive or room filling unless you want to re-qualify that as 'loud'. It is too bassy compared to the Play 5 and Play 1.(Even after TrueTuning -the new Sonos function which scans your room with your phones microphone and adjusts the sonos player to be the best it can be). and whilst it still looks nice, it just looks nice. Nothing special. When you compare to the Play 1 in a shop you'll know what I mean by that.
To summarise: Buy a Play 1 or Play 5 - or wait until the new Play 3. Don't buy this version.
on 2 January 2014
Sonos market themselves as a wireless system throughout the house, and to a degree they are, however there are some things you should be aware of up front.
1. This may be obvious to many but it is worth pointing out, they need to be plugged into a power socket. Not a negative, just something to remember when you're thinking of the wireless solution.
2. To be a true wireless solution they need to have purchased a Sonos Bridge and installed it alongside your Broadband router. Without this the Sonos devices have to be plugged directly into the back of your Broadband router - they could also be connected through HomePlugs if you have them or an Ethernet network if you have one in your home!
3. If you don't have a Computer or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive storing your music, or have music on your mobile or tablet, then you will probably find yourself considering purchasing a monthly subscription to one of the music services such as Spotify or Last.FM which are available on the Sonos. These will give you access to a huge amount of songs and are well worthwhile, but it is an additional cost to be aware of.
4. If you are thinking about using the Podcasting service on the Sonos do be aware that it is (at time of writing) rather limited and doesn't offer the true features of a Podcasting application. I find myself struggling with it a little and have abandoned the idea of using it for Podcasting for now.
5. The Sonos devices do not power off or go into standby mode, they are always on. I've actually resorted to pulling the plug on them when not in use.
Apart from these issues I do really like the Sonos devices, the audio is crisp and clear without any corruption or cut outs in the audio and the PLAY:3 has a superb bass to it. I was surprised at how good the quality is for internet radio and that even when I have other data traffic on my network and broadband that the audio remains unaffected. Using the radio functionality does provide for a huge wealth of free music and there are some good additional monthly subscription options on other services, even if you buy a single month for a party weekend it still works out a good deal.
I do have some issues with the usability of the Android app which isn't always as intuitive as the adverts suggest and does currently have a few flaws in the design, however Sonos are working on them and they do release service improvements and fixes for the device software and the apps without additional charge.
*** Update: 15/02/2014 ***
With reference to the Android App, I've now uninstalled it as it will send large amounts of data on the WiFi connection in the background, and I mean huge, it can be constant. This is with all the Sonos devices in the house unplugged from the mains. Also the app just keeps running in the background regardless.
on 22 August 2014
I had been aware of Sonos for a long time but hesitated about buying it - partly due to cost.
Before buying it, I had read a lot about the system and what it can (and cannot) do. It is not that complicated but I would advice anyone considering buying it to study how it works a bit and to read the reviews here and elsewhere.
What persuaded me to to buy the Sonos Bridge and one Play 1 speaker were the very positive reviews of the sound quality of the speaker and the apparent simplicity, stability, flexibility and expandability of the Sonos system.
Since the initial purchase, I have been very impressed and have since bought another Play 1 speaker (linked to the other in a Stereo Pair), a Play 3 in my kitchen and a Play 5 for my living room.
Sound quality of all speakers is fantastic.The clarity of the sound is amazing, with little or no distortion at high volumes. Again, I would encourage anybody considering buying any speaker to read about them and to hear them in a local showroom. I think each has their own advantages.
The Play 1 sounds incredible on its own, particularly considering its small size. Two Play 1's linked as a stereo pair sound even more incredible with fantastic stereo effect.
I have the Play 3 in my kitchen. While not big, my kitchen is not small either but the Play 3 easily fills it with sound.
I have the Play 5 in my sitting room and it adequately fills that room, which is decently sized, with sound. I have put the two Play 1's as a stereo pair in that room two and when all three speakers are on, the effect is fantastic.
The sound from the Play 5 is probably better than the Play 3 or Play 1 but I find it very big and bulky - too much so for my kitchen or bedroom.
This is where the flexibility and expandability come in. I can have all the speakers working together, playing the same music or have the speaker in the kitchen playing one thing and the speakers in the living room playing another. I can mute any speaker I like or adjust the volume of any individual speaker or adjust the volume of a whole set of speakers with one touch.
The whole system can be controlled with the app on my smartphone or tablet.
I will be using the system mainly with Spotify and TuneIn radio or the like. It will work too with media stored on my devices too but nowadays, I mostly listen to Spotify or TuneIn anyway.
The system is very simple to set up and to expand. In the beginning, I had terrible problems trying to add speakers but this was due to the rubbish router supplied by my Internet provider, not a problem with Sonos. I have now replaced the router and the system works brilliantly.
My only criticism now is that while the sound is extremely clear and pleasant, to my ears it does lack oomph or bass to some extent. I have played around with the equaliser settings on the speakers but still not 100 per cent satisfied. I guess buying the Sonos Sub might solve the problem but at £600, this is really, really expensive...
All in all though, I am extremely satisfied with Sonos.
I'd been told by friends that the Sonos PLAY series of speakers were very good indeed, but it has taken me a long time to get round to getting one myself. However, having spent about 12 months wrestling with the much cheaper Panasonic ALL speakers, I decided to splash out on a PLAY:3 for my study. I now have to say that I feel very stupid for not having done so before.
The PLAY:3 is about a foot across, five inches high, and six inches deep. It has an on/off switch on the top, and plugs into the mains - and that's it. It's worth adding that there is no option for it to powered by batteries - not a problem for me, it just means that it has to be always plugged into a mains socket to work.
After the huge battle twelve months ago to get my Panasonic speakers setup, I was amazed at how simple the PLAY:3 was to get working. I installed the iPhone app (free from the Apple app store), and then proceeded to set up the speaker. You're asked to supply your wireless keycode (there's no need for a Sonos bridge unless your home wi-fi is slow or unreliable - the PLAY speakers just work over your home wi-fi), to say in which room you are using the speaker(s) - as you can have multiple speakers set up to work, each in different rooms - and then you select where you want to get your music from. I set it up initially to access my Spotify service and my Amazon music library; both were available within a couple of minutes. There was also a firmware update that took a couple of minutes. One thing that I believe is new is that I was asked to wave my iPhone around the walls of my room so that the app could assess the size and shape of the room; the speaker then (apparently) adjusts its output so it is optimised for the room it is in.
Navigating the Sonos app is easy - you select your music source, and then can choose music by searching or viewing lists of the artists or albums available on each source. The sound is great; it easily fills my study, which is quite a large room, and it's pretty punchy; I see that some other reviewers have criticised the lack of bass output, but it sounds fine to me.
Since the initial setup, I've now also set up the PLAY:3 to read music from my NAS. This again is straightforward; it takes a while to index the music if you have a lot (my 10,000 or so audio files took about twenty minutes to index, so that the albums and artists appeared on the Sonos controller). Each time you add new music to your NAS, you need to re-index, or you can schedule this to take place overnight, for instance. Sharing files from a PC or laptop works in the same way - the caveat being that to play music from your NAS, PC or laptop, they need to be switched on (sounds obvious, but I wasn't sure that this would be the case, for some reason).
I have to say that I am incredibly impressed with the PLAY:3. It's easy to setup, great to be able to access music from multiple sources from one controller (in this case my iPhone, as mentioned, although I've also installed the controller onto my laptop - up to 32 devices can be linked to the speaker on one wireless network). Despite having a pretty large house with stone walls, I've also had no problems with the wi-fi signal, despite me thinking that I might have to splash out on a Sonos Bridge to make things work. The sound of the speaker is fantastic - as good as my hi-fi separates, although the output will obviously only be as good as the quality of the source audio. I'm so impressed that I've now also picked up a couple of PLAY:1 speakers for the lounge, and plan on expanding further. I really can't recommend this enough; it takes a lot to REALLY impress me, and I am very, very impressed. Great stuff.
on 11 January 2012
I managed to get a sonos play 3 with a sonos bridge bundled with it so quite a good deal. Both the Play 3 and the Bridge are well constructed and the Play 3 is reassuringly heavy. Each unit came with its own dvd and instructions. My intention was to use the bridge connected in to my Netgear router vis the supplied cable and the Play 3 would then free-lance around the house where ever it was needed.
The Sonos software loaded with out any hitch on to my iMac running Snow Leopard. I followed the installation instructions to initiate the bridge and then the Play 3 unit and all connected and was recognised with out any problems. The software took a bit of carefull thought to get it to link to my music folder but again no real problem. I tested the system as controled from the iMac to start with and had it playing music with in a short space of time. The Play list needs to be cleared before selecting to play an other album otherwise it adds the selected to the end of the play list. This is easy to do as a options box appears so you can delete the original play list or add to it.
I then loaded the control software app on to my iPod Touch (gen 2) the software loaded no problem and I was soon able to control the Play 3 using the iPod. I found no issue with any wifi delays, the system responded quite quickly to instruction from the iPod. Song selection was intuative. again you need to clear the loaded play list before you can play a new play list otherwise it just adds it the end.
WiFi range was not what I had hoped and was a bit limited but not sure if that is a function of the Sonos Bridge or the net gear router.
This is a good hardware amd software system and is very compatible with the system I have. My only disappointment is the very flat sound the single Play 3 makes. To my ears there seems to be zero stereo image from the 3 internal speakers, might as well have just a single mono speaker. The quality of the sound is OK there is a volume control on the Play 3 unit so if you do not have a iPod Touch or the Sonos controller then you can still control the volume when at a distance from your iMac, can't change the play list though obviously.
If you can afford it get two Play 3 units so you get the fully stereo image at least I hope you would for £500.
on 25 December 2013
I am a massive advocate of Sonos.
Amazing sound, beautiful design and simple to use and expand.
After an initial purchase of a single Play 5 I now have:
1x Bridge (connected via Powerline Ethernet to router)
2x Play 5s
4x Play 3s (in two stereo pairs)
1x iPhone cradle
Controlled by Sonos app on my iPhone(s) and iPad(s)
Multi year usage. Awesome reliability. Simple set up and expansion. Easy integration to 2TB external home media server with all my music on-tap and seamless integration with Spotify Premium.
Only thing that could improve Sonos to perfection is native app support (ie so you can control Sonos through Spotify app for example).
For multi-room multi unit arrangements such as mine the Sonos system gets expensive. But if you're into your multi-room music throughout the house and use Spotify regularly it is worth every penny.
on 28 February 2014
This was bought as a gift and it is brilliant. The ability to link multiple media sources and play more or less whatever you want is brilliant. Simple to set up and really good sound quality. If you are a music nut who analyses sound quality in depth, this is probably not for you, if you want something compact, versatile, easy to use, that sounds excellent to the untrained ear and works brilliantly, I'd recommend this in a heartbeat. We will be buying the Play1 devices for the bedrooms too.
on 17 November 2013
I have the Bose Soundlink which is disappointing compared to this. I literally couldnt believe that the sound the Sonos gives off comes from something so small.
If you have a choice between the Bose and the Sonos, 100% go Sonos. It's slightly larger, but not noticeably... and about 3 times the volume and clarity is much better. The bose I find tinny.